Monday, June 30, 2008


Jared and Audie Jacobs invited us to go swimming at their pool on Saturday. We had a lot of fun. I'm glad to have friends with a pool.

This picture cracks me up. It really looks like our girls are having fun, doesn't it? (I'm typing this sarcastically. . . in case you can't pick up on the tone.) In Jovie's and Tralee's defense, they skipped nap time to go swimming.

I was surprised that Tralee held on so good while riding on her Daddy's back.

Tralee deciding whether or not to jump back in the pool.

Jovie getting pushed (by Jim) towards Jared

Getting tossed in the air.

Jovie didn't want any help carrying the floaties back home. So this is how they made their way back.

Tralee definitely keeps us on our toes. Some of the highlights of the day were finding Tralee playing with one of Jovie's toys in the Jacobs' toilet (I was so proud -- n't), Tralee constantly stealing Jovie's food and eating it, and lastly Tralee making a mess in general. I hope we didn't leave their house a total disaster. I tried to pick up Tralee's messes here and there, but I'm sure there were things I didn't get too. Below are some pictures of Tralee eating off of Jovie's dessert plate. I looked out the window and saw Tralee's face smashed down on the plate, licking away. When Jim tried to take the plate away her little face stayed glued to it. That must have been some tasty dessert!

When I was feeling like I was ready to go home, put Tralee down for the night, and get things ready for Sunday in Primary, Jim said, "Hey, I made us plans!" I guess Jim's Uncle Dave called and invited us to play cards. Jim accepted the invite, so I had to go. Normally this would be fine, but I wasn't excited about taking a cranky toddler who hadn't had a nap all day to game night. Tralee DID sleep for the first hour or so. I had fun whipping everyone's butts at Scum, then Tralee woke up, was CRANKY, and I tended to her while everyone else played cards. It wasn't all the much fun for me, and I finally gave Jim the "let's PLEASE go" look. So, we left. I didn't mean to be a party pooper, but I think all Moms can agree with me on wanting to get home in this situation.

Yesterday was just a normal Sunday, and today I'm going to be busy getting ready for our trip tomorrow. I probably won't post anything new until we get back. Any tips on flying with a toddler?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Days

I'm having a lot more fun this summer. I think it's because last year I couldn't really go and do things with Tralee. She was just too young. This year we've been having a lot of fun playing at parks, going for walks, swimming, taking her to the Boise Art Museum, Discovery Center, and Zoo. One thing is for sure, Tralee does not have a timid personality. She wants to go and do as much as she can. There's absolutely no holding her back. If I try to put a cautious hand on her shoulder when she's about to do something potentially dangerous, she shakes my hand away, gives me a little "leave me alone" growl, and continues on her quest. I think we're going to have our arms full in the coming years. I laughed while we were at the park yesterday and an older girl was cautiously clinging to her Mom's leg while Tralee was climbing to the highest part of the swingset. In the last week, Tralee has been trying to master the ladder. She saw the older kids climbing up it, and since then she's made it a mission to try and climb it also. It's really fun to watch her.
One of my favorite times of day is when Jim gets home from work. It's really cute to see Tralee run up to him when he walks through the door. It's also nice, because usually around this time I need to finish putting dinner together. Jim plays with Tralee while I do this. It's amazing how much faster I can work when there's not a one-year-old running around and through my legs.

I've been in a slump when it comes to cooking --I've had no motivation -- so I purchased a new cookbook to see if that would kick me into gear. It worked. Last night I made chicken and shrimp curry with peanut sauce. It was really good, and fun to make. I used ingredients I've never used before. It turned out great, and there are several more fun recipes in the cookbook I can't wait to try. Hopefully I stay out of my anti-cooking slump.
We're flying to Ohio on Tuesday to visit my family. It should be fun. I can't say I'm looking forward to the long flights with a one-year-old, but at least Jim will be along to help. I can't imagine flying without him. Hopefully all will go well.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Here it is

Here's the old schoolhouse I posted about earlier. Jim wasn't working there yesterday, so I didn't get any inside pictures, but here's the outside of the old school house. There's obviously still work to be done, but you can get the gist of its awesomeness. I love LOVE love it!
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She Really is Her Daddy's Daughter

People have been telling me how much Tralee looks like her Daddy lately. I can see it. However, it wasn't until yesterday that I realized how much she REALLY is like Jim. If anyone knows Jim, they know he's an avid sports fan, and basketball is at the top of his favorite sports to play and watch list. I think golf and basketball are tied for number 1. Anyways, when we were driving home from the park yesterday I turned around and saw Tralee sleeping on her basketball. I pulled over to snap a picture and watched as her head bobbed around in tiredness -- the whole time keeping a tight grip on her basketball. I thought to myself, "If that's not Jim's child, I don't know what is!"

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Pig Tails on Sunday

This was the first attempt at pig tails for Tralee. I think she looks rather cute, don't you?
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The whole left side of my mouth is numb -- so annoying! I got three cavities filled today. Two on the bottom, one on top (I think). The whole experience was quite pleasant, as far as dentist experiences go. They were quick, efficient, and I wasn't in any pain at all. In fact, I watched Animal Planet on TV as they drilled and filled. The show was about an elephant commune in Arkansas, and a baby elephant that was born. Did you know baby elephants are about 250 lbs when they're born? If you put it into perspective, I would much rather have three tiny holes drilled in my teeth and live with a numb mouth for a few hours than birth a 250 lbs baby.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tralee's Pretty Princess Pajamas

I bought Tralee some pretty princess PJs a few weeks ago. They're for a 4T, but I couldn't resist pulling them out of storage and trying them on her. They came with a magic wand and everything! I think they look precious, and decided to do a quick fairy princess photo shoot before bedtime. I'm pretty sure this is one of the scenarios where the parent had WAY more fun than the child! Also, please excuse the dinner that is still attached to Tralee's face. I must have missed a spot. Apparently I need another lesson on how to wash my child's face. Oh well, the pictures still turned out pretty darn cute!

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Julia Davis Park Playground

Yesterday Jim, Tralee, and I headed towards downtown Boise to look at a bike shop. I want a new bike. I've had my eye on a cruiser, but didn't know if one would be appropriate considering we're moving out into the country where there are hills a-plenty. I talked to a worker at the bike shop and he explained they make 21 speed cruisers that would suit my needs just fine. The down side? They cost a pretty penny. Plus, I need to purchase a trailer and helmet for the wee one. Since we still have a lot to do to our house on Chicken Dinner Road (yes, that's the real name of the street we'll live on) we decided to wait on the bike. I'll also keep my eyes open on Craigslist to see if the bike I've put on my wish list turns up. It doesn't hurt to look, right?

After bike perusing, Jim and I went through the West Side Drive Inn. We ordered some food (I LOVE their sweet potato french fries -- YUMMY) and went to Julia Davis Park to chow down and watch Tralee play on the play ground there.

Tralee's favorite thing to do at the playground -- hands down -- is swing. As soon as she spots the swings she runs towards them with glee. Usually an excited little squeltch (I know it's not a real word, but don't know how else to describe it) escapes her mouth as she approaches the swing set. When we went to the park for free lunch yesterday afternoon, the park was flooded. Luckily the swing set was just fine. So, I pushed Tralee in the swings while she ate.

Daddy and Tralee invented a new game while swinging at Julie Davis Park. Tralee started kicking Daddy when she swung towards him, and Jim kept saying, "Ow! You got me!" Looking back, we probably shouldn't invent any games where our daughter is kicking anyone, but she laughed so hard, I didn't want to stop the fun she was having. So, we'll teach her about kicking later.

Look at her little leg, cocked and loaded, ready to kick! What a funny little girl.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Someday. . .

. . . I hope to find an old building with character and fix it up into my dream home. For a long time I wanted to do this with an old barn. I thought keeping the old wooden beams, and having a huge loft overlooking an open floor-plan would be amazing. However, since I've moved away from Wisconsin there seems to be a shortage of old barns in the western states. So, that plan has kind of been put on the back-burner.

Today I went and saw a beautiful building so full of character I wanted to cry because it was just the kind of project I would love to undertake! Jim's been installing cabinets in an old, brick, school house. A couple purchased it four years ago, and have been working on making it into their dream home ever since. I fell in love when I first saw it. It's AMAZING! I didn't have my camera, but I'll have to drive by and capture a picture or two to post later.

The outside is all brick, and there's a beautifully maintained front yard with flowers and a fountain. To the side there's another yard with a cute play area. Next to the large brick schoolhouse is a gymnasium that looks like it was added onto the property several years after the original school house was built. Maybe they'll keep a basketball court for their kids to play on. But back to the house. They gutted the inside, and kept only the elements that would allow the old school-house feel to linger. For instance, the staircases are still the original with new hard-wood on them. They're nice and wide and are prominent in the heart of the house. I could just picture little school children traveling up and down as they went to class. There are also huge arched windows in every room. They're just BEAUTIFUL, and so full of character! They fill the house up with light. It looks like they're going to put a huge theater room in the basement. How fun! The whole building has high ceilings and although there's four stories it all feels homey and connected. Jim told me several amazing things that the couple discovered as they restored this building. One of which is they found out one of their grandparents went to school there as a child. COOL! There is so much character, and so much detail in the house, I just wanted to cry I loved it so much. I'm glad Jim let me come see where he's been working, because I just adored it.

Seeing this amazing project this couple has undertaken also rekindled the hope that I might someday find an old building and create my dream home. I love homes with character, and although I wouldn't complain if we someday build a new home, I'm much more drawn to the older ones with history. I know once this couple moves in with their kids they'll be so happy! Their new home is a beautiful, charming, historic gem!

So, what's your idea of a dream home?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

. . . One More

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Our Little Flower

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**You may not want to read this if you've never read the Uglies series, and want to one day**

I just finished reading the third book in the Uglies trilogy yesterday. I was disappointed in Specials and was up late pondering it. I could have thought of a great number of ways I would have liked it to end better than it did. I appreciate the way it ended, and I understand why it ended the way it did. BUT STILL!! Maybe I'm too much of a romantic or too much of a "pretty-head" but I wanted Tally to at least get rid of her pointy teeth and fingernails, and be with Zane! Or at least have one final scene with Zane to tell him she's sorry and she loves him and is no longer repulsed by him. . . then he could have died. It just kind of sucked. I like happy endings, and this one was a little ambiguous for me. Oh well.

I'm still going to read Extras, it came in the mail from Amazon the other day. I love Amazon, I've been buying used books for $1 and used DVDs for $2 on there. Shipping is usually more than the item, so that kind of sucks, but it still beats paying full price!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jim's First Goal Playing in a Hockey Game

Well, he's from Canada, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Jim got his FIRST goal playing in a REAL hockey game. It was the only goal of the night for his team, so he was named MVP of the game, and got to take home the GOLDEN PUCK!


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Worst Case Scenario

Okay, the worst cast scenario is I won't have a front tooth for a while.

Now to explain. When I was young I passed out and fell down a flight of stairs. In the process I knocked my front right tooth pretty hard, and needed a root canal. Since that time I've periodically had the tooth whitened from the inside out. Three years ago I had it whitened, and a few weeks later an infection surfaced. The infection has been draining on its own (disgusting, I know -- sorry) so I've never been in any real pain. I just kind of hoped it would go away on its own. Then I got preggers with Tralee and didn't want to go to the dentist because they probably couldn't do anything for me anyways. After having Tralee, I was the kind of mom who didn't want to leave her first child for very long, so I put off the dentist some more. It's been three years of living with an infection, and frankly, I've had enough. I pushed my fears aside and went to the dentist today. I pretty much knew what he would tell me.

1. I could keep living with this infection, and have it eat away at my bone -- thus allowing the tooth to fall out, and leaving no hope for an implant/veneer. (Not gonna happen.)

2. I could go to an endodontics (spl?) and have him check it out. I will probably need another root canal to clean out the infection, and then go back to the dentist and have a veneer put over the remaining amount of tooth I have left.

3. I could go to the endodontics have him check me out and decide there's no hope for my tooth. Thus leaving me with the option of getting an implant. If I need an implant I would have a temporary tooth on a retainer while they wait for my bone to grow around the implant. When my bone is ready, they would screw in a porcelain tooth. I'm assuming the retainer could be removed -- thus leaving me with a huge toothless gap for a few weeks until I can get the porcelain tooth put in place. I'll be white trash! This is the worst case scenario, and I'm hoping it doesn't come to this. However, if it does I promised my brother I would post a picture of "White Trash Leslie" on my blog. He thought this was funny, I think otherwise.

Other than the possibility of being toothless -- in my front upper tooth no less -- the dentist and tech said my teeth looked great for not having gone to the dentist in three years. I was afraid they would yell at me, but they were very nice, and even let me watch TV (it was in the ceiling) while they worked on me. I also scheduled a cleaning appointment six months from now, and vowed (to myself) to keep up with my dental appointments, regardless how scarred I am.

I think once I get this whole front tooth fiasco over with, I won't be afraid to visit the dentist. I just have to make it past this hurtle. I called to schedule an appointment with the endodontic dude, but he's out of the office until the 22nd. The sooner I can get this over with the better. I go in to get my cavities filled on Tuesday.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The weather has become really summer-like over the last few days -- I love it!

Father's Day was a nice day. We went to church, and then I made a delicious Father's Day meal for Jim. I asked him what he wanted to eat, and he choose a steak dinner. So we had steaks, red potatoes, asparagus, broccoli salad, and strawberry-blueberry tarts for dessert. Jim also got some really great presents. I wanted to give Jim his presents after his Father's Day meal, but the first thing he said when he woke up was, "Give me my presents!" I asked him if he was sure, because then he wouldn't have anything to open later on. He was sure. Tralee and I got him some clothes, DVDs, a craft Tralee made, and a one hour massage at the Y. I think he loved it all, and he's excited about the massage.

Tralee and I went to the park for lunch yesterday. For those of you that don't live around here, the main parks host a free lunch for the kids from around 11 to 1 everyday. It's great, and I can't argue with free! I took Tralee yesterday to the playground/park next to the Y. We got her lunch, and sat with some ladies and kids in our ward. Tralee was hungry up until she spotted the swings. As soon as she saw them she did a cute little scream and ran up to them -- all thoughts of hunger gone. I pushed her in a swing, and fed her her lunch. She ate almost the entire thing. Tralee also went down some slides, climbed, and threw wood chips around. It was a fun outing, and Tralee took a nice long nap when we got home. I think we'll be going to the park for lunch from now on, but not today. I'm going to babysit for a women in our ward while she goes to the doctor. I think Tralee will have fun playing with her kids.

Last night we went bowling with Jared and Audie Jacobs and their kids. I think everyone did pretty well. Tralee got a nice goose-egg on her head. She was bending down to pick something up and bashed her head against a metal cup-holder on the back of a chair. Poor thing. She's all better now, but had a rough few minutes right after it happened. Besides Tralee's head injury, last night was fun.

That's all for now. Nothing really exciting, I know. Just the norm, but that's ok for me!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Photos

Happy Father's Day to all the men who read this. This year I'll just post some pictures of the Dads and Granddads in our lives and write something nice about them.

Let's start with my Dad, James Micheal Labiszak. He's always been a good provider, sacrificing his own happiness to insure the happiness of his loved ones. He's not the gushy type, but I always knew how much he loved me. I am his favorite daughter, after all.

My Dad was also blessed with the challenge of not only raising a silly and overly emotional teenage daughter, but also raising my severely disabled brother Todd. There's no other person in the world who makes Todd as happy as our Dad. We 're all grateful we can call him our very own.
How about my hot hubby? Is there anything more handsome than seeing your husband hold your child?

One of the reasons I married Jim was because I KNEW he would be an amazing father. I mean the kind of Dad who's never too busy to get down on his hands and knees and play with his kids.

Jim's one of a kind. I can't think of anyone else who can be infuriating and charming at the same time. I can't stay mad at him for the life of me. I want to, but he ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS makes me crack up right when I want to be the most angry at him. It's VERY annoying. . . and cute. DANG IT! Sorry, one last picture of Jim and Tralee. They're just too cute together.

Here's a picture of Jim and his dad Ross on the day Jim got home from Ireland. Jim and Ross have very similar personalities, which makes being around them, when they're together, a lot of fun. We love to go visit Ross and his wife Judy up in Canada. Actually, when we're up there I usually don't have a husband for a few days because he's so busy fishing for sharks, shooting gophers, playing golf, and doing other father-son activities with Ross. That's okay, I'm glad Jim and his Dad are such good friends.
Here's a two-for-one shot. To the left is Jim's Grandpa Jacobs and to the right it Jim's Grandpa Callister. Both of these men have passed on, but have left an amazing legacy for us to pass down to our kids.

Here's a family shot of my Dad's family growing up. The man in the lower right hand side of the picture is my Grandpa Eugene. I never met my Dad's dad, but hear amazing stories about his life. I'm excited to pass these down to our kids as well.

My Grandpa Stoehr is quite the man. He gives everyone a nickname, and never calls them anything but that name. I've been "Lessy" for as long as I can remember. My Mom (who's pictured with her father) has never been called anything but "Boom" or "Boomy" from this man. Grandpa Stoehr has always been a rough-around-the-edges farmer type. In fact, I remember him picking up a farm cat I brought inside his house, and chucking it outside when I was just a little girl. I don't think I ever brought another farm cat inside again, for fear of what he would do to it. However, Grandpa's rough facade could always melt away if just the right thing was said or done. For instance, he would pay me a dollar to brush his hair (or what was left of it). He would let me ride in the tractor with him, and he would always cry at the end of Hoosiers.
My Dad's Mom remarried before I was born, and I grew up with her second husband as my Grandpa. Grandpa John was quite the character. As soon as I hugged and kissed Nana after walking into her condo, she would say, "Go say 'hi' to Grandpa John." I obeyed and walked to the den where he sat in his easy chair. I can still feel his rough cheek, and smell the cigar smoke and aftershave. I must have kissed his cheek a thousand times. I'm glad I did, because Grandpa John faithfully accompanied Nana to every piano recital, choir concert, and play I was ever in. I'm grateful he was my Grandpa.

Jim's Mom re-married Jeff Larson. Jeff is a great guy, and we're glad he's in our lives. He's the first Grandpa that held Tralee. He also took her for a ride on his lawn-mower a few weeks ago. We appreciate all he does for us.

This last picture is of me, my brother, Great-Grandma Steinke and Great-Grandpa Steinke. Some of my favorite childhood memories include Grandpa Norman. He smelled of the earth, because he spent most of his time outside. He had one piercing blue eye, and one milky eye that was blinded in a logging incident. When he looked at you, it was as if he could see right through you. Perhaps one of my favorite memories of Grandpa Norman is of him taking me to Ruth Lake on the back on his ancient dirt-bike. I held onto him, and buried my head in his mossy jacket as he sped through the forest path to get us to the lake. He bate my hook, helped me cast, smiled when I excitedly reeled in my catch, and then took the fish off my hook for me. My only job was to have fun. When we returned back to his make-shift home, I sat on a stump or bucket as he scaled the fish and filleted it. We would usually eat my catch of blue-gills, perch, or rainbow trout for dinner that night. One time when we were fishing Grandpa passed some gas. He turned to me and said, "Oops, had to let one go, he couldn't pay the rent." Grandpa Steinke died when I was in fourth grade. He was a fun Great-Grandpa, and I'm glad I have happy memories of him to pass onto Tralee.

I couldn't find a picture of my surrogate Grandpa, Grandpa Lenz. He's a wonderful man, and was always present on my birthdays and other special occasions. I love him very much!!

Well, if you've read this far, thanks.